You rely on your liver every day to help you digest your food. Your liver, an organ about the size of a football, is located in your abdomen, underneath the right side of your rib cage. Without healthy liver function, you could suffer as a result of not being able to properly rid your body of toxic substances.
Some people have a higher risk of developing liver problems. Liver disease can be genetic, or it can be related to other factors, including your lifestyle. At the Vascular Institute of New York, founder and director Enrico Ascher, MD, and our team of experts can diagnose your liver problems and recommend strategies that you may be able to use to lower your risks of liver disease.
Environmental and genetic factors for liver disease
Some of the risk factors that could put you at risk for developing liver problems may be out of your control. If you have a family history of liver disease, you should know that your risks of developing liver problems are heightened.
You may also have a higher risk of liver disease if you’ve been exposed to certain chemicals or toxins, such as arsenic. Dr. Ascher can review your personal and family history to determine if you’ve been exposed to substances that could increase the risks to your liver.
If you suffer from blood clotting issues, your liver could be at risk. Inflammation or tumors on your pancreas and bile ducts can also negatively impact your liver, potentially increasing your risk of liver disease.
Behavioral factors that could increase your risk
Many of the factors that increase the risk of liver disease have to do with lifestyle choices. Being in shape lowers your risk, just as being obese or having type 2 diabetes can make you more prone to liver disease.
One of the most common causes of liver disease is heavy alcohol use, which can cause cirrhosis (scarring) of your liver. FDA guidelines for moderate drinking suggest that you limit yourself to two drinks or less per day for men or one drink or less in a day for women.
Some liver diseases, such as hepatitis, can also be communicated via needles or exposure to other people's blood and body fluids. If you have tattoos, body piercings, have ever shared needles while using injectable drugs, or received a blood transfusion before 1992, your liver could be at risk. Unprotected sex can also result in exposure to blood and body fluids.
Protecting yourself from liver disease
Take steps to protect yourself from liver disease. Dr. Ascher and our team at the Vascular Institute of New York can help you identify your potential risk factors, and recommend the right precautions for you to take.
Treatments for liver disease vary based on the type of your liver condition. Whether you’re at risk for cirrhosis, hepatitis, or bile duct obstruction, Dr. Ascher and our team can address the problem. You’re in safe hands with the Vascular Institute of New York.
To schedule your evaluation for liver disease risks, get in touch with the Vascular Institute of New York today. Our offices are conveniently located in Borough Park, serving patients throughout Brooklyn and the surrounding New York City, New York, area. You can book your initial consultation appointment online, or give us a call now to schedule.